I will confess that we ALL get into that mode of wanting to be prepared for competition, so I’m not casting stones, just trying to give a reminder about the intent of practicing for your dog. To Sue, there *is* a truth to needing to know what you are training for. But I will argue that it would be a moot point if you had trust that your dog will find it and tell you it’s there if they are able to locate source. There is a balance of “testing” and “training” and I urge you to focus less on the “testing” and maybe listen to what the dog is saying.
To your point, Carolyn, I did set up hides that could not be paired when it was blind. With the inaccessible locations, were we to pair, it would have encouraged dogs to DIG to get into their reward and it was better to see where the dogs made those decisions instead of placing available food where we EXPECTED them to decide. I could have given more “help” to support the dog, as well. 😉
Joyride K9 Dog Training